GREENVILLE, S.C. (Aug. 16, 2006) – Every thirty seconds a 911 call is answered in the United States. Firefighters and EMS personnel across the country respond to more than 500,000 emergency calls every day, with volunteers comprising 73 percent of the crews answering these calls. Communities rely on these heroes to be their first line of defense, responding to medical emergencies, fires and rescue efforts.
As part of its continued commitment to social and corporate responsibility, Michelin today announced the Driving America’s Safety program. In addition to supplying drivers with road safety tips, the program provides consumers the opportunity to thank local firefighters and EMS personnel by nominating them to receive a donation of a full set of new tires for an emergency services vehicle – from ambulances and fire engines to small rescue trucks and sport utility vehicles.
Fire departments and EMS squads across the country continually face financial restraints and maintenance issues. Michelin’s Driving America’s Safety program enables consumers to play a role in ensuring the vehicles for their community’s first responders are outfitted in the safest and most reliable tires. By visiting the Michelin Web site (www.michelinman.com), consumers can obtain information on how to nominate a local firefighter or EMT to be chosen as one of 25 who will receive a new set of Michelin tires for their department.
“For many of us, general safety measures like police and fire departments, as well as good tires and seat belts, provide us with peace of mind,” said Parmeet Grover, Michelin brand director, Michelin Americas Small Tires. “We’re encouraging consumers to take a few extra minutes to think about their safety on the roads and at home. Everyone can take simple steps, including supporting the local heroes who protect their families – firefighters and EMTs.”
For drivers everywhere – whether they are moms, dads, firefighters or EMTs – safety on the road is an important issue. In addition to affording consumers ultimate confidence when behind the wheel, Michelin has developed a number of simple tips to help consumers protect their car and their precious cargo:
* Once a month and before a long trip, ensure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure, as indicated on the vehicle manufacturer sticker located on the door jamb or in the owner’s manual. As many as one in four vehicles on the road currently have underinflated tires.
* Check the tire-tread depth by placing a penny upside down in your tire’s shallowest groove. If you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, you have less than 2/32nds of an inch in tread depth and it is time to buy new tires.
* Always wear a seat belt and make sure all passengers are buckled properly. In the event of an accident, wearing a seat belt will decrease your chance of harm by 50 percent. More than 17,000 people are saved in car crashes each year by wearing a seat belt.
* Be alert. If you’re showing signs of fatigue when driving, pull over in a safe area and let someone else drive.
* Avoid taking your eyes off the road. Whenever possible, eliminate distractions ahead of time. Make sure important items like maps, directions or sunglasses are within reach.
* Proper alignment is important. Have your suspension realigned when you buy new tires or notice uneven wear. Poor alignment can very quickly wear out tires and adversely affect gas mileage.
“Safe driving for consumers, like firefighters, begins with the person behind the wheel – from wearing a seat belt to making sure the vehicle is maintained properly from the tires on up,” said William Goldfeder, E.F.O., deputy chief of the Loveland-Symmes, Ohio, Fire Department and contributing editor to Firehouse magazine. “This program from Michelin helps us continue to protect the community, while also giving people a chance to play a role in our efforts.”
How to Nominate Your Local First Responders:
Beginning Aug. 15, 2006, consumers can nominate their local heroes by developing a minimum 300-word essay describing why a local firefighter or EMT should receive one set of Michelin tires for an emergency response vehicle.
Nominations will be evaluated on a 100-point scale using selected criteria, including:
* Financial need of the EMS squad or fire department
* Compelling stories on the impact the firefighter or EMT has on the community
* Type of apparatus the department uses
Completed nominations can be sent to Michelin via email at michelinman or via the U.S. Postal Service. All nominations must be postmarked by Oct. 31, 2006, and received by Nov. 10, 2006.